Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov was born on 15 October 1814 in Moscow. He
spent his childhood in the village of Tarkhany which was located in
Penza Oblast. As the saying goes in the 17th century one of the Scottish
Earls of Learmont settled in Russia and Mikhail was his descendant.
Scientists also made a supposition that famous Scottish poet Thomas
Learmonth was his relative. According to established fact Mikhail
Lermontov was a descendant of Yuri (George) Learmont who was a Scottish
officer. In the 17th century he moved to Russia.
father, Yuri, was a serviceman. His mother Maria Arsenyeva died when
Mikhail was a child. Lermontov’s grandmother, Yelizaveta Alekseyevna,
brought him up after Maria’s death. At the age of ten Mikhail had
problems with health and they moved to the Caucasus. The fertile climate
of this region was good for Mikhail. From that time he loved the
Lermontov spent his childhood in the intellectual
atmosphere and he became interested in English literature. He studied
Byron’s poetry. When Mikhail was a child he was taught by a Frenchman
named Gendrot. But Yelizaveta Alekseyevna decided that additional
education was necessary for her grandson and took him to Moscow where
the young poet entered the gymnasium. While there Lermontov developed a
passion for the poetry of Zhukovsky and Pushkin. After a while he met
Katerina Khvostovaya whom he loved. Lermontov inscribed some poems to
her. At the same time the young poet developed a talent for sarcastic
humor. Moreover he could draw caricatures and pin somebody down with an
epigram or nickname.
In 1830 after studying at gymnasium Mikhail
entered Moscow University. That year his father died and this event made
a lasting impression on him. Lermontov’s sorrow was apparent in his
poems "Forgive me, Will we Meet Again?" and "The Terrible Fate of Father
and Son". Lermontov was not a student for a long time. In 1832 because
of misunderstanding with professor Malov he left the university.
studying for two years at university Lermontov decided to change his
career choice. Between 1830 and 1834 Lermontov attended the cadet
school. In those years he started writing poetry. He became interested
in Russian history and medieval epics and it was apparent in some his
poems including the Song of the Merchant Kalashnikov and Borodino.
1837 Pushkin died. His death produced a strong impression on Lermontov.
Consequently he wrote a poem “Death of the Poet” which displeased the
Tsar. Lermontov was immediately exiled to the Caucasus. But this region
was native for him because he spent there his childhood.
and 1839 Lermontov was in Saint Petersburg. Mikhail loved Barbara
Lopukhina and he described his love in the novel Princess Ligovskaya
which he didn’t complete. In 1840 the son of French ambassador
challenged Lermontov to a duel. As a result Mikhail returned to the
army. He joined hand-to-hand combat at the Battle of the Valerik River.
This event was a basis for his poem Valerik. By 1839 Lermontov wrote one
of his famous novels, A Hero of Our Time. Mikhail Lermontov became a
great poet of Russian literature. He is also called “the poet of the
Caucasus”. Lermontov was a founder of the Russian psychological novel.
July 1841 because of Lermontov’s joke Nikolai Martynov challenged him
to a duel. Martynov killed Lermontov with his first shot. Mikhail
Lermontov was interred at Tarkhany.